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Hossein Ziai, Ph.D.
Professor of Iranian

Office: 388 Humanities
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1511
310.206.1382 - phone
310.206.6456 - fax

Memorial Service to celebrate the Life of Dr. Hossein Ziai

The Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department and the Humanities Division, would like to celebrate the life of Professor Hossein Ziai. A Memorial Service will be held in the faculty center on Monday, September 26th at 4:00 p.m.

Many of you who knew Professor Ziai will know how very much he was revered and respected. We invite the campus community and the community at large to join us in celebrating Professor Ziai’s life.

Please RSVP with Ms. Esther Chang ( if you plan to attend:

Professor Hossein Ziai Memorial Service

Monday, September 26, 2011
UCLA Faculty Center
4:00 p.m.

RSVP is requested.

Ph.D. Harvard 1976.
B.S. Yale 1967.

Hossein Ziai, Tenured Full Professor of Islamic and Iranian Studies, and Director of Iranian Studies at UCLA, where he has taught since 1988. He received his B.S. in 1967 in Mathematics & Physics from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in Islamic Philosophy from Harvard University in 1976. Prior to his position at UCLA, Ziai has taught at Tehran University, Sharif University, Harvard University, Brown University, and Oberlin College. Dr. Ziai has published several volumes and numerous articles on Islamic philosophy, especially the Iranian/Islamic Illuminationist tradition. His books include: (1) Philosophy of Mathematics (in Persian); (2) Anvariyya (The Realm of Lights); (3) Knowledge and Illumination; (4) Shahrazur's Commentary on Hikmat al-Ishraq; (5) The Book of Radiance; (6) The Philosophy of Illumination; (7) The Ball and Polo Stick, or the Book of Ecstasy; (8) Ibn Kammuna's Text on Illuminationist Physics. He has also contributed many chapters to edited volumes including: "Beyond Philosophy" in Myth and Philosophy, edited by Frank Reynolds and David Tracy. "The Source and Nature of Authority" in The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy, edited by Charles Butterworth; and three chapters in The Routledge History of Islamic Philosophy, edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Oliver Leaman. He is also the author of numerous articles on Islamic philosophy and on Iranian/Islamic intellectual traditions. Ziai has offered numerous papers at national and international conferences.

Iranian 103A: Introduction to Classical Poetry, Prosody, Metrics, and the Poetic Arts.
Iranian 103B: Introduction to Classical Persian Prose and its Typology.
Iranian 103C: Contemporary Persian Prose and Poetry
Iranian 104: Philosophical Texts: Farabi, Avicenna, Sohravardi, Shirazi, and others.
Iranian 140: Topics in Classical Persian Poetry. Selections vary from year-to-year and include Hafez, Rumi, Sa'di, Nezami, and others.
Iranian 141: Introduction to Analytical Persian Prose. Selections Vary from year-to-year and include: Siyasat Nameh; Partow Nameh; Safar Nameh; Kitab-e Insan-e Kamel; Jame' al-Hikmatayn, and others.
Iranian 142: Persian Ethics: (detailed syllabus listed on the class site).
Iranian 220 A&B: Topics vary and include Hafez, Rumi, and Sa'di
Iranian 250: Topics vary and include selections from philosophical and mystical texts.

A.1) "Translations From the Dîvân-i Shams of Mawlânâ Jalâl al-Dîn Rûmî."  The Yale Literary Magazine, New Haven, 1965. (6 pages). ARTICLE

A.2) "The Bipolar Principle in Rûmî's Mathnawî." In, Mevlânâ. Ankara,  1972, pp. 63-86. ARTICLE

A.3) "Bîrûnî and Ammonius' Treatise on the 'Differences of Opinions Concerning Principles'." Bîrûnî Memorial Volume. Tehran: Tehran UP, 1976,  pp. 185-202. [Includes unpublished segments of Ammonius' treatise, Ikhtilâf al-Arâ' fi'l-Mabâdî' (the Arabic title means "Differences of Opinions Concerning Principles," and the Greek text is lost), edited and published for the first time.]. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.4) "Algorithm and Muhammad ibn Mûsâ al-Khwârizmî." Algorithm, vol. 2,  no. 1 (1979), pp. 31-57. [Includes discussion of computational and approximation methods as major advancements in mathematicsS"Algorithm" is Latinized "al-Khwârizmî."]. ARTICLE

A.5) "Truth and Necessity in Mathematics," by Hilary Putnam, translated by Hossein Ziai. Bulletin of the Iranian Mathematical Society (BIMS), no. 9 (Winter, 1979), pp. 135-151. ARTICLE

A.6) "Elements of Intuitionism." BIMS, no. 11 (Summer, 1980).  [Includes a comparison of Brouwer's concept of "primary intuition," with ideas in Islamic philosophy.]. ARTICLE

A.7) "Modal Propositions in Islamic Philosophy." BIMS, no. 12  (Winter, 1980), pp. 58-74. ARTICLE

A.8) Philosophy of Mathematics. Edited and translated, with Introduction,  Notes and Glossary of Technical Terms, by Hossein Ziai. Tehran: Iranian Center For the Study of Civilisations [sic], 1980. Pp. 216. BOOK

A.9) "Problems in the Philosophy of Mathematics." Algorithm, vol. 2, no. 2 (1980). [Compares and contrast foundations of mathematical knowledge among the three schools of the philosophy of mathematics: Logicism, Formalism, and Intuitionism; and includes a discussion of the realm of "formal" things in Islamic philosophy.] ARTICLE 

A.10) Anwâriyya: Early 17th century Persian commentary on Suhrawardî's Philosophy of Illumination, by Muhammad Sharîf al-Harawî. Edited with Introduction and Notes by Hossein Ziai. Tehran: Amir Kabir, 1979., 261. (Second edition, Tehran: Amir Kabir, 1985. See also below, C.28). BOOK

A.11) "Vision, Illuminationist Methodology and Poetic Language." Irân Nâmeh. Vol. VIII, no. 1 (Winter, 1990), pp. 81-94. ARTICLE 

A.12) Knowledge and Illumination: A Study of Suhrawardî's Hikmat al-Ishrâq. Brown Judaic Studies 97; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990. Pp. xi, 223. BOOK 

A.13) "Beyond Philosophy: Suhrawardî's Illuminationist Path to Wisdom."  In, Myth and Philosophy. Edited by Frank E. Reynolds and David Tracy.  New York: State University of New York Press, 1990. Chapter 8, pp. 215-243. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.14) "The Manuscript of al-Shajara al-Ilâhiyya, A 13th c. Philosophical Encyclopedia by Shams al-Dîn Muhammad Shahrazûrî." Iranshenasi. Vol. II, no. 1 (Spring, 1990), pp. 89-108. ARTICLE 

A.15) "Review of Persian Literature, edited by Ehsan Yarshater. Bibliotheca Persica: Columbia Lectures on Iranian Studies, no. 3; Albany, N.Y.: The Persian Heritage Foundation, SUNY Press, 1988. Pp. xi, 526" In Iran Nameh. Vol. VIII, no. 4 (Fall, 1990), pp. 641-650. REVIEW ARTICLE

A.16) "Persian Poetry and Poetic Wisdom: Sources for Manuscript Painting Traditions." In, Dragons Heroes and Lovers, edited by Pamela R. Miller. Seattle: Wing Luke Asian Museum, 1991, pp. 10-17. ARTICLE

A.17) "On the Political Doctrine of Illuminationist Philosophy." Iran Nameh. Vol. IX, no. 3 (Summer, 1991), pp. 396-410. ARTICLE 

A.18) "Source and Nature of Authority: A study of Suhrawardî's Illuminationist Political Doctrine." In, The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy, edited by  Charles Butterworth. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992, pp. 304-344. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.19) "Review of Shukri B. Abed, Aristotelian Logic and Arabic Language  in Alfârâbî. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991.Pp. 201." In, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Fall 1992), pp. 708-711. BOOK REVIEW

A.20) Shams al-Dîn Muhammad Shahrazûrî's Sharh Hikmat al-Ishrâq, Commentary on the Philosophy of Illumination. Critical edition, plus English and Persian Introductions, Notes and Indexes. Cultural Studies and Research Institute, no. 736: Tehran, 1993. Pp. xxxix, 766. BOOK 

A.21) "Explaining the Philosophical Meaning of Sadr al-Dîn Shîrâzî's 'Metaphysical Philosophy,' Hikmat-e Mota'âliyeh." Iranshenasi. Vol. V, No. 2 (Summer, 1993), pp. 354-364. ARTICLE

A.22) "Definition and the Foundations of Knowledge in Illuminationist  Philosophy: Section on Expository Propositions (al-Aqwâl al-Shâriha),  of the [unpublished] Text, al-Mashâi' wa al-Mutârahât." In, Papers in Honor of 'Ostâd' Javad Mosleh. Edited by Borhan Ibneh Yousef, Los Angeles: Research & Education Center, 1993, pp. 108-130. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.23) "Hâfez, Lisân al-Ghayb of Persian Poetic Wisdom." In Papers in  Honor of Annemarie Schimmel, edited by J.C. Bürgel and Alma Giese.  Bern: Verlag Peter Lang, 1995, pp. 449-469. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.24) "Review of: John Walbridge, The Science of Mystic Lights: Qutb al-Dîn Shîrâzî and the Illuminationist Tradition in Islamic Philosophy. (Cambridge: Harvard Middle Eastern Monographs XXVI: Harvard University Press, 1992). Pp. xvii, 296." In, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 26 (Winter, 1994).(pp. 7) REVIEW 

A.25) "Shihâb al-Dîn Yahyâ Suhrawardî." In, The Routledge History  of Islamic Philosophy. Edited by S.H. Nasr and Oliver Leaman.  London: Routledge, 1995. Ch. 28, pp. 434-464. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.26) "The Illuminationist Tradition." In, The Routledge History of  Islamic Philosophy. Edited by S.H. Nasr and Oliver Leaman.  London: Routledge,.1995. Ch. 29, pp. 465-496. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.27) "Sadr al-Dîn al-Shîrâzî: 17th c. Synchretism in Islamic Philosophy."  In, The Routledge History of Islamic Philosophy. Edited by  S.H. Nasr and Oliver Leaman. London: Routledge,.1995. Ch. 35, pp. 635-642. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.28) "Entries on Islamic Philosophy." In , The Oxford Companion to  Philosophy. Edited by Ted Honderich. Oxford and London: Oxford UP, 1995.  Entries on: "Averroës"; "Avicenna"; "al-Ghazâlî"; "Ibn Khaldûn";  "Iqbal, Allameh Muhammad"; "Islamic Philosophy"; "al-Kindî"; "Knowledge by Presence (al-'ilm al-huzûrî)"; "Mollâ Sadrâ"; "Mîr Dâmâd"; "Mundus Imaginalis" ('âlam al-khayâl); and "Sohravardî." ENTRIES IN THE COMPANION TO PHILOSOPHY

A.29) Suhrawardî's The Book of Radiance [Partow Nâmeh]. A parallel English-Persian Text, Edited and Translated with an Introduction By Hossein Ziai. Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers: Bibliotheca Iranica: Intellectual Traditions Series No. 1, 1998. BOOK 

A.30) "al-Suhrawardî, Shihâb al-Dîn," in the Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition, qv, pp. 781-784. ARTICLE 

A.31) "Dreams, Interpretation of." In, Encyclopedia Iranica. Edited by Ehsan Yarshater, Volume VII, 5, pp.549-551. ARTICLE 

A.32) "Edition and Translation of the Persian Text, Treatise on Substance and Accident, by Suhrawardî." In, Papers in Honor of Seyyed Jalal Ashtiyani (Jashn-Nameh-ye Ostad Jalal-e Ashtiyani), ed. M. Arab and K. Fani. Tehran: Farzan-e Ruz, 1998. The edition is based on the single known extant copy, at UCLA's Special Collections. ARTICLE 

A.33) "Ebn Sahlân Sâwî." In Encyclopedia Iranica. Edited by Ehsan Yarshater, Volume VIII, pp. 52-53. ARTICLE 

A.34) "Illuminationist Philosophy." In The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Ten Volumes, General Editor, Edward Graig. London: Routledge, 1998. Volume 4, pp. 700-703. ARTICLE 

A.35) The Ball and Polo Stick. A Parallel Persian-English Text, Edited and Translated with an Introduction and Notes by W.M. Thackston, Jr. and Hossein Ziai. Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers: Bibliotheca Iranica: Intellectual Traditions Series, No.3, 1999. BOOK 

A.36) The Philosophy of Illumination. English translation of Suhrawardî's Hikmat al-Ishrâq, plus a new critical edition of the Arabic text, with Introduction, Notes, and Glossaries of technical terms, by John Walbridge and Hossein Ziai. Islamic Philosophy Translation Series (IPTS): Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2000. BOOK 

A.37) "Suhravardî va Siyâsat." In, Muntakhkabî az Maqâlât-I Fârsî Dar-bâri-yi Shaykh-I Ishrâq Suhravardî. Edited by Hossein Seeyed Arab.  Tehran: Enteshârât Shafî'î, 1999, pp. 105-125. (First published in Iran Nameh. Vol. IX, no. 3 [Summer, 1991], pp. 396-410.) CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.38) "Review of Ibn Sînâ and Mysticism: Remarks and Admonitions, Shams C. Inati, London and New York: Kegan Paul International, 1996, viii + 114 pp." In Iranian Studies, Volume 33, Numbers 1-2, Winter/Spring 2000, pp. 203-205. REVIEW 

A. 39) "Knowledge and Authority in Shî'î Philosophy." In, Shî'ite Heritage:  Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions. Eidted by Linda Clarke. Binghamton  And New York: GLOBAL PUBLICATIONS, Binghamton University, 2001, pp. 359-374. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A. 40) "Nûr al-Fu'âd, A Nineteenth-Century Persian Text in Illuminationist Philosophy by Shihâb al-Dîn Kumîjânî." In The Philosophy of  Seyyed Hossein Nasr. The Library of Living Philosophers Volume XXVIII. Edited by Lewis Edwin Hahn, Randall E. Auxier, and Lucian W. Stone, Jr. Chicago and La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 2001, pp. 763-774. CHAPTER IN EDITED BOOK

A.41) Shams al-Dîn Muhammad Shahrazûrî's Sharh Hikmat al-Ishrâq, Commentary on the Philosophy of Illumination. Crtical edition, plus English and Persian Introductions, Notes and Indexes. Cultural Studies and Research Institute, no. 736: Tehran, 1993: Second Printing: 2002, Pp. xxxix, 766. (N.B. This is the second printing of A.20, listed above.) BOOK 

A.42) Ibn Kammûna's Al-Tanqîhât fî Sharh al-Talwîhât. Refinement and Commentary on Suhrawardî's Intimations: A Thirteenth Century Text on Natural Philosophy and Psychology. Critical Edition, with Introduction and Analysis by Hossein Ziai & Ahmed Alwishah. Bibliotheca Iranica: Intellectual Traditions Series No. 9: Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publishers, 2002. Pp. ix, 48, 490. BOOK 


Since 1998 Ziai has established a publication series for which he is working as Editor-in-Chief. Many leading scholars in the filed have accepted to assist Ziai in this endeavor and have joined the series as members of the Board of Advisors. To date ten volumes have been published; three volume is in press, and three additional volumes are being prepared for publication. These are:

No. 1: The Book of Radiance. A Parallel Persian-English Text, edited and Translated with an Introduction by Hossein Ziai.

No. 2: The Philosophical Allegories and Mystical Treatises: A Parallel Persian-English Text. Edited and Translated with an Introduction by Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr. In this work nine 12th c philosophical allegorical tales are edited, translated and introduced. The work is a most welcome addition to the field of Islamic/Iranian intellectual history-specifically non-Aristotelian philosophical traditions where the Gnostic, Hermetic, and especially Ploitinian views on being, knowing, soul, intellect, vision and experience, and so on, come together within the novel systematic philosophical reconstructed system named "Philosophy of Illumination."

No. 3: The Ball and Polo Stick: A Parallel Persian-English Text. Edited and Translated with an Introduction by W.M. Thackston, Jr. and Hossein Ziai. The work is introduced to western scholarship and is a 15th c. Gnostic/philosophical allegory based on the game of polo. In this text the model "sameness of knowing and being" serves to inform the unity of the lover and the beloved-a most significant theme in Persian mystical and philosophical traditions.

No. 4 Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetics: Seven Essays. By Olga M. Davidson. This work centers on classical Persian poetics, primarily the epic art of Ferdowsi's Sh®hn®ma. It combines traditional literary approaches with new comparative methods, especially those developed by Albert B. Lord in his ethnographic fieldwork on living oral traditions and by Georges Dumézil in his linguistic analysis of thematic parallelisms between heroes of epic and gods of myth and ritual.

No. 5 Education, Religion, and the Discourse of Cultural Reform in Qajar Iran. By, Monica M. Ringer. This book covers educational change and the debates surrounding it in the 19th-century Iran as a window onto the problems associated with the process of modernization. Topics include the Nezam-e Jadid, the Dar al Fonun, the New Schools, foreign, missionary and minority schools, students abroad and the Anjoman-e Ma'aref. The focus is on illuminating the nature and breadth of the political, social, cultural and intellectual threat posed by educational reform to the ulama.

No. 6 Nasir-e Khkusraw's Book of Travels. A parallel Persian-English Text, edited and translated from the Persian, with Introduction, Glossaries, and Notes, by Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr. Nasir-I Khusraw, well known for his philosophical works and ranked as one of the great poets of Persian, made a seven-year-long journey that began in his native Marv in the spring of 1046 A.D. and ended at Balkh in the fall of 1052 A.D. The book gives us a vivid picture of the 11th-century Islamic world from Transoxiana to Egypt, and the author provides minute descriptions of the two major shrines of Islam, the Dome of the Rock complex in Jerusalem and the Haram at Mecca. In addition, Nasir-I Khusraw records interesting architectural features he found in the towns and cities he visited, relates encounters with out-of-the-way people, sets down folklore from various regions, and gives a detailed description of some of the more colorful public ceremonies in Egypt.

No. 7 8ahrest®nh® µr®n·ahr. A Middle Persian Text on Geography, Epic, and History, with English and New Persian Translations and Commentary. By, Touraj Daryaee. The Pahlavi text here edited and translated is one of the few 'secular' Middle Persian texts we have. In this excellent work, Tourja Daryaee presents a small, but histyorically and ideologically significant Middle Persian text. This work will be of interest for specialists and for all those interested in the view o f the Iranian world in the centuries prior to the coming of Islam.

No. 8 Jam®l-yi Dihlaw's Mir'®t al-Ma'®n. A parallel English-Persian text translated by A.A. Seyed-Gohrab, and critical Persian text by N. Pourjavady. The author of this highly significant medieval Persian literary text, Jam®l of Delhi (A.D. 1483-1542) is one of the outstanding Indian poets, who followed the rich tradition of Persian mystical poetry. He was the poet-laureate of Sultan Sikandar Ludi (r. 1489-1517) and wrote several works in Persian in India. The book sheds light on the intricate technical terminology of mystical expression in Persian poetry.

No. 9 Ibn Kamm‚na's al-Tanq?®t f Shr? al-Talw?®t: A Thirteenth Centuryt Text on Natural Philosophy and Psychology. Critical Edition with Introduction and Analysis by Hossein Ziai & Ahmed Alwishah.

No. 10 The Aura of Kings: Legitimacy and Divine Sanction in Iranian Kingship. Abolala Soudavar. In this book Soudavar traces the symbolism of the farr as Divine Glory to its early origins and demonstrates its continuity across Iranian history.

Development of illuminationist philosophy in the 13th and 14th centuries; advanced Persian grammar with emphasis on stylistics and its typology in Persian.

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